On our first day, we (well, our shirts) only lasted a couple of hours in the heat before we had to find some air con close by to cool off
. Macca's was closest, and whilst ordering the biggest Sundae possible there, the sniggers from all the locals told us they knew how uncomfortable we were outside. We managed to stay in there for an hour or so before deciding to call it quits for the day. We walked back into the heat and went to our room, only to find it was even hotter in there. Our extractor fan was broken and the little rotating fan that had put in as a substitute was doing nothing to cool us down. After showering every 30 mins just to keep cool, the sun went down, and we were able to head back outside for a drink and some local Malay food.
Waking up almost seemed like we were getting out of a pool, and with a quick look outside and seeing that it was fairly overcast we decided to see the rest of the town before the sun showed its face. We walked up Jonker street, the heart of Chinatown, through dutch square, along the river where the old ports used to operate and up the hill in the centre to see St Pauls church. The view up there was fantastic, we could see the entire town, and it was made even better by the fact we spotted a local pool a few streets back, this would be our only stop for the rest of the day! After talking to some locals we decided for dinner we'd get amongst their way of living and eat with only our hands. So we splashed out, at our local Mamak (Indian Malay Cuisine) stall and ordered a banana leaf set
. The waiter brings over a huge banana leaf, then comes over with tins of vegetable curry and slops down all these different kinds on your plate, along with some roti, papadums, and a load of rice, and we were ready to get messy. We were loving it, and attracting a few looks as we laughed our way through eating rice and curry with our hands, maybe a technique we'll bring home with us.
It's time to say goodbye to Malaysia already, it's been a bit to quick here - we've both really enjoyed the culture and vibe this country has, but its time to take one step closer to the western world and head to Singapore, and thankfully the last time we'll see a long distance bus for a while!!
I'm not sure what has gotten into us while walking through the streets of Melaka, but for some reason we decided to opt against air conditioning in our room and was that a mistake we wont make again (not that we have much time to). Melaka was roasting hot, except for the hours between 2am and 4am. It didn't really help that Melaka is a 'walking town', and even though we've been adjusting to the climate for the past 3 months, this was an entirely different level. Based on its key location, Melaka was a key trading port for many nations. Due to continued changes in control in the city, you find many old buildings with different kinds of architectural designs to them (Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malay and Chinese). There is a very strong chinese community in this city which still live in houses built 200 years ago. We stayed in Chinatown and being Chinese New Year the decorations and celebrations throughout the streets were plentiful.